Maintaining a Green, Healthy Centipede Lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Jacksonville, FL
Avatar for birdman22
Question by birdman22
March 5, 1999
My lawn has some areas that have lost all of the planted grass also a lot of weeds are invading and apparently some crickets are invading the lawn. Once I used a fertilizer with weed killer on it and I thought that my lawn was dead, it turn yellow and looked like it had burned. I also have some bald spots. What can I do to solve this problems and have a green and well settled turf?

Answer from NGA
March 5, 1999
Some weed killers can damage Centipede when used when temperatures are over 85 degrees. The best way to reduce weed problems is by growing a dense healthy turf. When turf is weak, weeds will soon fill in the bare spots.

I suggest you fertilize in early April with 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen and repeat the application again in fall . Apply a product with a 3-1-2 ratio of nutrients as this is roughly the ratio of nutrients grass takes in. So, for example, if you purchased a 15-5-10 fertilizer (15% nitrogen), you would apply about 7 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .15 = about 7). If you purchased a 21-7-14 fertilizer (21 % nitrogen), you would apply about 5 pounds per 1000 square feet (1 pound / .21 = about 5).

While many homeowners like to water 15 minutes a day, your turf will benefit from a good soaking applied less often. Apply 1/2 to 1 inch of water once or twice a week. A coffee can makes a good rain gauge to test out how long it will need to be run to apply an inch. Frequent wetting promotes disease problems and a shallow rooted turf. Let the soil dry out a bit between waterings and the grass will develop a deep root system and do much better.

Finally turf need good sunlight. If the lawn is getting too shady, you may need to consider thinning out the tree canopy somewhat to increase light intensity to the turf.

Good luck and thanks for the question!

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